Practice Relating to Rule 107. Spies
Section A. Definition of spies
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) states:
A member of the armed forces who gathers information is not considered to be engaged in espionage if that person is wearing regular uniform or is a resident in an occupied territory and is collecting information in that territory on behalf of the occupied power.
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states:
The law of war refers only to military spies, that is, members of the armed forces who engage in espionage.
The gathering of information by a member of the armed forces of a party to the conflict on behalf of that party is not considered to be engaging in espionage if, while so acting:
- he is in the uniform of his armed forces;
- he is a resident of an occupied territory and gathers information on behalf of the occupied power within that territory.
The manual further states:
Espionage activities are considered to be those carried out in areas controlled by the adverse party using false pretences or acting in a deliberately clandestine manner. The law of armed conflict does not prohibit such activities, but penalizes them by depriving members of the armed forces captured engaging in espionage of prisoner-of-war status.